It was entertaining and exciting but did not produce a win for the Browns.
It still happened, though, and we’re here to recap the most important occurrences that influenced the outcome. Here are the six plays that changed Sunday night’s 20-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
1. Larry Ogunjobi’s second-down sack of Jared Goff
With the game tied at three late in the second quarter, the Rams were in the midst of a drive that seemed destined for points. Ogunjobi took advantage of an apparent miscommunication on the part of the Rams’ interior offensive linemen, who split off in opposite directions and left him a wide open path to Jared Goff. The sack pushed the Rams back from second-and-2 to third-and-11, and the 3-yard reception by Brandin Cooks that followed wasn’t enough. Greg Zuerlein missed his 43-yard attempt on fourth down, keeping the score tied at 3-3.
2. Myles Garrett’s strip sack
This one was the first big swing in the Browns’ favor.
With the score still tied at 3-3, the Rams had the ball late in the first half and were moving closer toward gaining a lead before heading to the intermission. Then Myles Garrett arrived.
Held without a sack for most of the first half, Garrett got the more favorable of his two matchups, rushing around right tackle Rob Havenstein and extending his arm out to interfere with Goff, who was preparing to let a pass fly downfield. Garrett’s hand knocked the ball out of Goff’s control for a strip sack, and linebacker Joe Schobert scooped the loose ball up in stride, racing downfield toward the end zone before he was cut down by Todd Gurley at the LA 17. The Browns ended up with three points off the turnover, taking a 6-3 lead into halftime.
3. Cooper Kupp’s TD reception on third down
The Browns found themselves in a pretty good spot despite being in their own red zone on third and goal from the 11, but as he did all night, Cooper Kupp found the open space in the defense, running toward the far sideline and catching Goff’s 11-yard pass for his first score of the night. The touchdown was the first for either team, starting a back-and-forth affair between the two teams
Check out photos of the Browns in action against the Rams on Sunday Night Football
4. Demetrius Harris’ TD catch on third-and-goal
The Rams opened the second half with a statement drive that ended with Kupp’s touchdown to take a 10-6 lead, and the Browns responded.
Cleveland first found the end zone on a 1-yard Nick Chubb run, but it was nullified by an illegal shift call on Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns needed three more downs to find the end zone, but they did so in thrilling fashion, thanks to Mayfield’s eyes and sleight of hand. The quarterback received the snap, flipped the ball to the laces side while faking a handoff to Chubb, and fired a bullet to tight end Demetrius Harris for his first touchdown as a Brown.
The score put the Browns back in from, 13-10, and all but ensured we’d be in for a 60-minute ride.
5. Cooper Kupp TD reception No. 2
The Browns intercepted Goff on the ensuing Rams drive but didn’t produce points from the takeaway, so Los Angeles regained possession with the same opportunity in front of it. The Rams did not miss.
Goff engineered an eight-play, 72-yard drive in just 1:37, going uptempo and ripping up chunks of field in the process. It ended with another third-down touchdown pass, this time on an excellent red-zone play call by head coach Sean McVay, who sent out a tight trips bunch set to the right and ran Kupp on a drag through traffic. Browns safety Jermaine Whitehead was left only to attempt to chase him down in vain as Kupp caught the pass for his second score of the night to give the Rams a 17-13 lead.
6. Juston Burris’ interception
This came when things were looking grim for the Browns, who trailed 20-13 with less than four minutes to play and the Rams near midfield. A third-and-3 pass proved to be a bit too aggressive, though, as it was tipped away from intended receiver Robert Woods and intercepted by Juston Burris, who’d just arrived via waiver claim at the end of the week. Burris had room to run, too, but ran into Schobert and fell down at the Browns’ 43.
From there, the Browns engineered one last drive with the hopes of tying the game. They fell short of the end zone, turning the ball over via interception on a desperation fourth-down throw from inside the LA 5.